Professional Development | Mar 24 2017

How a consultant dietitian job turned into a career of consulting

To say you can count on Emily is an understatement. Emily is an acute care registered dietitian in Chicago with three years’ experience, and while some may say she’s still “new to her career,” her reputation begs to differ.

“Emily is very well versed in the Nutrition Care Process and is able to complete assessments in a very efficient and timely manner without compromising aspects of the process,” said Natalie, a clinical nutrition manager who oversees Emily at a Chicago hospital.

Because Emily is such an outstanding dietitian, Natalie has requested her coverage several times .

“Her ability to effectively complete a heavy case load of patients in a short period of time continues to impress us,” Natalie said.

Her first gig

Emily started her career with Dietitians On Demand in 2013, fresh out of her internship. She worked her first assignment at a large Level-1 trauma facility in Chicago. So how did Emily become such an efficient dietitian so early into her career?

“It’s part of the job!” she said and laughed. “With Dietitians On Demand, you very quickly learn to be flexible.”

Working as a consultant dietitian means you may not have the extensive orientation period that a permanent employee goes through.

“You’re in a mental state where you just have to learn everything in a few days. I just keep calm, knowing I can do the work,” Emily said.

Emily’s level-headed nature is something Natalie has also noticed.

“We enjoy her calm attitude, she is always in a good mood and very easy to talk to,” Natalie said.

Beyond the chart

Emily makes her mark not only with clients, but with patients, too.

“There was an incident in which Emily recognized a patient not eating well at meals because he needed some help and encouragement. Emily took it upon herself to sit with the patient at lunch and help him open up food items and just simply spend time with him encouraging him to eat,” Natalie said.

For Emily, it’s not just about charting on the patient and moving on, she sees beyond those numbers.

“I went into nutrition because of the huge impact it has medically,” Emily said. “People don’t think of food as medicine, but what we eat impacts quality of life, and to be disease free, people see value in that and are appreciative of your help.”

Emily recalled another time when she was working in a clinic and saw a 14-year-old Type -1 Diabetic patient.

“Her A1C was really high and really poorly controlled, and she didn’t want to do anything about it,” she said. So Emily changed the subject and talked with the girl about her future and her career goals.

“She wants to be a nurse,” Emily said. “And I just told her, ‘you have to make these changes and start watching your blood sugar numbers, or that’s just not going to happen.’” Tough love, but sure enough, in the weeks and months following her meeting with Emily, the 14-year-old’s numbers steadily went down.

How consulting became a career

During Emily’s three years with Dietitians On Demand, she maintained her initial position while also picking up 10 other assignments at acute care facilities throughout Chicago. She steadily built a reputation for herself.

“Working for Dietitians On Demand has been a great experience because of the networking connections I was able to make in Chicago,” Emily said.

It seems wherever Emily goes, she is requested back time and time again.

“We enjoy Emily’s flexibility and her willingness to take on high caseloads. She is quick to step in and help out,” Natalie said of Emily.

Emily wrote about what National Nutrition Month means to her in a blog post earlier this month, and in the spirit of National Nutrition Month and “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” we are proud to put forward one of our best dietitians!

Dietitians On Demand is a nationwide staffing company for registered dietitians, specializing in short-term, temporary and permanent-hire positions in acute care, long term care and food service positions. Check out our job openings, or request your coverage today!

About Emily Wetzel

Emily Wetzel, RD, LDN is a consultant dietitian in Chicago, IL. She has been with Dietitians On Demand since she started her career in 2013.

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Dietitians On Demand is the nationwide leader in providing dietitians with jobs they love. If flexibility, competitive pay, a full benefits package, free CPEUs each month and a team dedicated to dietitians sound good to you, apply to our positions today.

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